He looks so innocent doesn’t he?
All big and fluffy with those chestnut brown eyes.
Luckily, we all know by now that Leroy is far is from innocent.
He has a history of being not so innocent and that history continues into his present day life.
Don’t get me wrong. He’s a good boy and he’s a smart boy but he’s also stubborn and pushy.
He’s a challenge to say the least and the fact that he was having an IBD flare up right in the middle of the holidays made him even more of a challenge.
The good news is that I think Leroy is feeling better. He has a recheck appointment scheduled for January 11th to confirm that.
The challenging news is that Leroy is feeling better.
It’s challenging because Leroy is getting back to his normal ways AND he’s still taking the steroids
If you’re familiar with steroids then you know that the medication comes with some side effects. Side effects differ from dog to dog but for Leroy it’s usually increase in water consumption, urination and appetite. He also experiences some changes in his behavior. He’s a lot more pushy, in your face and basically acts like he has ants in his pants. You have to constantly be aware of what Leroy is doing and where he is at all times because if you’re not, he’s doing something that he’s not suppose to be, like eating part of the fence, and you have to always think of Leroy when your decorating, baking cookies, having a house full of guests over, hiding edible presents, praying to god that the stockings don’t fall down, it’s snowing, it’s raining, there’s a $50 ham in the fridge and he knows it………….etc.
IBD dog on steroids during the busiest time of the year? What could possibly go wrong?
So much. So much could go wrong.
Luckily everyone in the house was on their game and we were able to avoid any major Leroy catastrophes this holiday by following a few simple steps:
Location. Location. Location. Leroy was on constant supervision. Early in December he had proven to me that he couldn’t be left unattended when he started eating part of the picket fence that had fallen over in the backyard. Mind you, the fence has been laying on the ground since October and no one touched it but one day Leroy decided that he wanted to eat it. After that the fence was removed, all sticks were picked up and Leroy wasn’t allowed to be outside unless I was out there with him.
On the move. If Leroy isn’t moving, he’s good. If Leroy’s walking around the house he’s looking for something to eat and anything is free game. No matter who you are and where you are, if you are eating Leroy is in your face. If you’re making something in the microwave, he’s right there staring at you. If you open a bag of chips, he’s right there. “Leroy, you better back up NOW.” was a constant phrase in my house by everyone.
Clean your area. Leroy knows the hot spots for food eating and he checks them throughout the day. He’s huge on scoping out Bobby’s hot spots so it was made clear that no food better be left out or the cell phone is mine. (It had to be a HUGE threat so I knew that it was heard.) or if he eats your food you’re paying for his next vet bill out of your Christmas money.
Don’t give him the benefit of the doubt. I really want to trust Leroy and give him the benefit of the doubt but I can’t and he’s proven that. Christmas day we had the family over and all the food was being put out on the counters and kitchen table, it made me nervous. Even though Leroy knows that he’s not suppose to take food off the table he’s in a different state of mind now so I tried to strategically place the vegetable tray on the corners of the table. If he gets vegetables, who cares. That didn’t go over well and he went straight for the cheese dip so Leroy had to go in another room for most of the day. I couldn’t watch the table all the day and I couldn’t risk him getting sick.
Work his brain. I did my best to get Leroy out for walks and play brain games with him. Some days it worked better than others but there was no rhyme or reason to when they did so I still had to be on my A game with him.
Talks. I did my best to explain to Leroy that his intestines were inflamed and that he needed to stay away from sharp objects like wood fencing that would only add to his inflammation. I would like to say that he heard me because the next day he went into the bathroom and ate kleenex from the garbage. (That was on Bobby’s watch, not mine)
Fill him up. It sounds obvious and easy right? It is except that Leroy needs to be on a low fat/low protein diet so it’s not as easy as it sounds. He can only have certain foods and they need to be low in fat or he’s going to get sick again. I was able to slightly increase his daily feedings and add in some fiber but we are very limited on what we can give him, especially during this period.
Let it be known. We normally have a lot of people coming and going from our house but it’s crazy during the holidays. Our house was filled with tons of people and loads of food. Most everyone knows that Leroy has a sensitive stomach but people forget or Leroy gives them the stare down until he gets what he wants. Lucky for me, Jodi from Kols Notes made this awesome printable that I was able to place in my house for guests. She made this one for me but she has a more friendly one available for you.
Wine. Lots of wine. Not enough wine that I wasn’t able to perform Leroy duties but just enough wine to take the edge off and make the twitching stop. Hahahaha.
So we had a few blunders during the holidays but everyone, including Leroy, seems to be recovering well and we are ready to get back to normal, whatever that may be.